Sauber’s 2015 Formula 1 Car Is Blue, And That Makes Us Happy

Sauber’s 2015 Formula 1 Car Is Blue, And That Makes Us Happy
The last few Sauber F1 cars have sported dull, grey colour schemes. We were starting to worry that the new car would be of a similar aesthetic persuasion; the succession of grey and silver cars launched for 2015 thus far made us wonder if half the grid
By Car Throttle on Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:52:30 -0800

Casino industry: deep relationships, potential conflicts

Casino industry: deep relationships, potential conflicts
When a Chicago law firm ended its 11/2-year relationship with a partner in the Lago Resort & Casino project last March, it had another big client waiting in the wings. That month, the firm, which specializes in representing the gambling industry and
By Press & Sun-Bulletin on Sat, 24 Jan 2015 20:30:00 -0800

More Casino Losses Seen on Chinese Corruption Crackdown: Options

More Casino Losses Seen on Chinese Corruption Crackdown: Options
Each stock lost more than 25 percent in the past year as Chinese President Xi Jinping seeks to battle illicit money channeled through Macau’s casinos. The crackdown is scaring away high rollers. Gambling revenue in the former Portuguese enclave fell in …
By Bloomberg on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:15:00 -0800

Casino closings have big impact on A.C. property-tax base

Casino closings have big impact on A.C. property-tax base
The loss of 8,000 jobs in Atlantic City’s casino industry in the last 12 months has sent shock waves through the region’s economy, but an even more precipitous collapse is underway in the city’s property-tax base. Eight or nine years ago, casinos owned
By Philly.com on Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:03:45 -0800

O\’s Marxist Keynesian College Professor Economic Trickle Up Poverty Theories On Fire: Heart & Soul Of Vegas Strip Files 4 Bankruptcy

Caesars Entertainment Corp. ’s largest unit is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as Thursday, the final gambit of a yearslong attempt to salvage a soured buyout.

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co.’s Chapter 11 filing would launch the final stage of Apollo Global Management LLC’s effort to save some of its $1.7 billion investment in the company, which it took private in 2008 with fellow buyout firm TPG.

A Chapter 11 petition would follow months of contentious negotiations with creditors, a who’s who of Wall Street investors. The unit’s collection of casinos and hotels, including much of the Las Vegas Strip’s iconic Caesars Palace, is expected to operate normally as it works to persuade a judge to approve a restructuring plan that would transform it into a real-estate investment trust.

 
 

Eric Seiler, an attorney for the gambling company, told a Delaware corporate law judge Tuesday that Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. would file for bankruptcy “on or about” Thursday. Another person close to the company said it’s possible the filing could come as late as Tuesday, Jan. 20. Mr. Seiler’s comments came after a group of creditors sought Monday to force the unit into bankruptcy through an involuntary Chapter 11 petition. It isn’t clear where the unit will file bankruptcy papers.

But in an unusual move later Tuesday, Appaloosa Management, Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC and Oaktree Capital Management asked the Delaware bankruptcy court to prevent the unit from filing for Chapter 11 elsewhere while the involuntary petition is pending there.

The restructuring is likely to test how far an owner can go to protect its own interest in bankruptcy. In recent years, Apollo has engineered a series of aggressive financial moves that have positioned the buyout firm to keep a significant stake in the gambling empire even though many creditors aren’t in line for a full repayment.

Some creditors have already challenged those transactions in court, an indication that Apollo may yet be in for a fight despite reaching a restructuring deal with most of the unit’s senior bondholders.

Bankruptcy isn’t the outcome Apollo and TPG had in mind in late 2006 when they teamed up to buy the casino giant, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. That year, the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City—major hubs for the casino operator—shattered prior gambling revenue records.

“Harrah’s has an excellent brand name, strong cash flows, an impressive portfolio of properties, a very talented management team, and highly skilled employees,” Apollo co-founder and Chief Executive Leon Black said in announcing the deal.

But the world changed by the time the buyout closed in January 2008. Consumers began cutting back on spending as the U.S. financial crisis took hold, and the company’s $22 billion post-buyout debt load quickly became a bigger burden than its buyers had anticipated.

Caesars also encountered another problem: Its efforts to secure a gambling license in Macau failed. Over the past decade, the Chinese territory has become the world’s biggest gambling market, with seven times the revenue of the Las Vegas Strip. Though the financial crisis took a toll on rivals MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp., revenue from Macau operations has revived their balance sheets.

Meanwhile, Caesars’ debt has limited any expansion to modest projects unlikely to contribute much to its bottom line. And one place where Caesars had been dominant—Atlantic City—went into freefall last year, forcing a handful of casinos to close, including Caesars’ Showboat.

Though Caesars remains one of the biggest names in gambling, its casino operations have taken a backseat to its financial woes on quarterly earnings calls. An analyst joked about the situation on a March 2014 call when he requested to ask an operational question “because you guys do run casinos.” Chief Executive Gary Loveman replied: “It’s flattering that you noticed that.”

The parent company has posted losses for each of the last four years, and its total liabilities have climbed to $28.2 billion.

Most of the debt stemming from the buyout is concentrated in Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the unit expected to file for Chapter 11 protection. In recent years, its owners transferred properties, such as Caesars Palace’s upscale Octavius Tower, to other entities controlled by the parent company.

Some creditors have said these transfers moved valuable assets out of their reach. This past November, a trustee representing senior bondholders filed a lawsuit in Delaware’s Court of Chancery alleging that the assets transferred out of the unit were worth at least $3.6 billion more than the unit received for them.

Caesars and Apollo have defended the moves. Apollo defends its companies “using all the tools available to us,” Apollo spokesman Charles V. Zehren said earlier this month.

Apollo’s maneuvering led to sometimes bitter negotiations with some of the world’s most experienced distressed-debt investors, including Blackstone Group LP’s GSO Capital Partners, Elliott Management Corp., Oaktree and Appaloosa.

Their disputes occasionally spilled into public view. In the November lawsuit, the trustee for the senior bondholders called the Caesars transfers “a case of unimaginably brazen corporate looting.”

Though the unit’s senior lenders still haven’t agreed to back the restructuring, Caesars managed to win the support of its senior bondholders. Senior creditors are slated to get an ownership stake in the new REIT created in the restructuring, along with a mixture of cash and new debt.

Junior bondholders, meanwhile, are slated to recover far less than the senior creditors. A group of these creditors sent a strong signal of their displeasure with the deal earlier in the week when they asked a judge to force the unit into bankruptcy through an involuntary Chapter 11 petition.

On Tuesday, Mr. Seiler, a lawyer for Caesars with Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP, said the involuntary petition wouldn’t set the company’s agenda.

A Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. filing would stand out amid a slow period for mega bankruptcies, during which ultralow interest rates have enabled even the riskiest companies to borrow. It would be the largest bankruptcy since Energy Future Holdings Corp., another boom-era buyout formerly known as TXU, sought Chapter 11 protection last April.

The filing comes at the tail end of a shakeout among the multibillion-dollar buyouts that preceded the financial crisis. Some, including silicone and quartz producer Momentive Performance Materials Inc. and textbook publisher Cengage Learning Inc., ended up in bankruptcy court. Others, like real-estate brokerage owner Realogy Holdings Corp. and hotel giant Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., weathered the downturn and generated profits for their owners.

If the restructuring goes as planned for Caesars’s owners, Apollo and TPG will keep a stake in the parent company, allowing them to share in the upside if its fortunes improve.

Corrections & Amplifications

An analyst joked during a March 2014 earnings call about the way questions related to Caesars Entertainment’s casino operations had taken a backseat to those about its financial woes. An earlier version of this article reported incorrectly that the call occurred in November.

Howard Beck: Brooklyn Nets likely to move only one, maybe two, of the Big Three

Howard Beck: Brooklyn Nets likely to move only one, maybe two, of the Big Three
Reports emerged last week from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ohm Youngmisuk that the Nets were prepared to unload all three of their star players: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. The more likely scenario, per team sources, is that the Nets …
By NetsDaily on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:33:24 -0800
 
Tuesday, December 16 (All times Eastern)

Miami Heat (11-13) at Brooklyn Nets (10-12), 7:30 p.m.

The Miami Heat could be without two of their big guns when they visit the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday at the Barclays Center.

Chris Bosh missed his last game with a strained calf and is out indefinitely. He leads the team with 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds. Dwyane Wade is second on the team with 21.1 points and is questionable with an illness.

The Heat have lost six of their last eight games and suffered a 93-75 setback to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, as Wade scored 17 points in defeat. Luol Deng posted 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Mario Chalmers added 11 for Miami, which shot just 35 percent and committed 15 turnovers.

Miami was outscored by a 33-16 difference in the third quarter and trailed 72-48 heading into the fourth quarter.

“It was a tough second half,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “We came out flat. That was pretty clear.”

The Heat are in good shape when they score 100 points, going 7-2, and have a 7-1 mark when shooting at least 50 percent from the field. They will try to improve on their 94.2 points per game average tonight in Brooklyn.

After visiting the Nets, Miami will return home for seven straight games, including a matchup with former star LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day.

Brooklyn has won two in a row and four of its last seven games, and recorded a 114-87 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday thanks to Joe Johnson’s team-leading 22 points.

Johnson was one of seven players to finish with double digits in scoring, as Deron Williams posted a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists, and Alan Anderson supplied 17 points off the bench. Jarrett Jack (14), Bojan Bogdanovic (12), Cory Jefferson (11) and Mason Plumlee (11) rounded out the double-figure scorers. Plumlee grabbed 13 rebounds for Brooklyn, which shot a sizzling 58.3 percent and made 16-of-23 3-pointers.

Johnson, Anderson and Bogdanovic all hit four 3-pointers and Williams three.

“It has been a while since we have been on the right side of a blowout,” said Williams.

Nets forward Mirza Teletovic (hip/facial laceration) has missed three straight games and is questionable Tuesday. He is averaging 10.7 ppg.

The Nets are 5-6 at home and will visit Toronto and Cleveland next. They posted season highs in several categories against the Hornets and hope it carries over into this matchup with Miami.

Brooklyn and Miami will play the second of four games this season, and the Heat posted a 95-83 road victory over the Nets on Nov. 17. Chalmers had 22 points and the Heat played without Wade and Deng. Bogdanovic posted 22 points in that one for the Nets.

The Nets swept all four regular-season meetings last season against the Heat, but fell in five games during the Eastern Conference semifinals. Miami is 12-3 in the last 15 games as the visitor in this series

Lombardi Gets No Trophy

The Cleveland Browns restructured their front office on Tuesday, promoting Ray Farmer to general manager and announcing that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months.

Farmer replaces Mike Lombardi and will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft. Additionally, the team announced that president Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations.

The major shakeup comes just a few weeks after the Browns hired Mike Pettine as their head coach.

“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.

“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.

“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.

“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.

“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

Banner, who previously worked in Philadelphia, became the team’s CEO in late October 2012.

“It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization,” Banner said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.”

Lombardi was hired by the Browns in January 2013 after working as an NFL Network analyst.

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Lombardi Gets No Trophy

The Cleveland Browns restructured their front office on Tuesday, promoting Ray Farmer to general manager and announcing that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months.

Farmer replaces Mike Lombardi and will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft. Additionally, the team announced that president Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations.

The major shakeup comes just a few weeks after the Browns hired Mike Pettine as their head coach.

“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.

“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.

“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.

“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.

“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

Banner, who previously worked in Philadelphia, became the team’s CEO in late October 2012.

“It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization,” Banner said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.”

Lombardi was hired by the Browns in January 2013 after working as an NFL Network analyst.

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Mustangs Stampede Bearcats

Final Score: SMU 76, (7) Cincinnati 55

Dallas, TX  – With a win over a top-10 team for the first time since 1987, three victories against top-25 clubs this season, and an unbeaten record at home, the SMU Mustangs are certainly worthy of being ranked come Monday.

The latest win for the Mustangs may have put them over the top.

Nick Russell and Ben Moore each scored 15 points, as SMU upended No. 7 Cincinnati, 76-55, at Moody Coliseum to snap the Bearcats’ 15-game winning streak.

Nic Moore tallied 14 points for the Mustangs (19-5, 8-3 AAC), who have won three in a row and eight of their last nine contests.

When the game ended, fans rushed the court in jubilation, knowing the Mustangs, who haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1993, could move into the top-25 come Monday. This was SMU’s third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Mustangs beat then No. 17 Connecticut on Jan. 4 and turned back then-22nd-ranked Memphis last Saturday with both of those previous wins at Moody Coliseum.

SMU received a season-high 15 votes in this week’s AP Poll.

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown has his team off to a 13-0 mark at home, including a 7-0 record in the renovated Moody Coliseum.

SMU also got revenge on the Bearcats for a 65-57 loss on New Year’s Day. The Mustangs held Cincinnati to 36.5 percent shooting in that game, but committed 17 turnovers and were outscored 23-8 at the foul line.

“That’s all we talked about doing is matching their energy. I thought we did that,” Brown said.

This game provided a different outcome thanks to the quick hands by SMU on defense. Cincinnati committed 19 turnovers. That helped the Mustangs get their first win over a top-10 squad since topping No. 7 Florida, on Dec. 3, 1987.

Sean Kilpatrick scored 22 for the Bearcats (22-3, 11-1), who lost for the first time since Dec. 14 against Xavier.

Cincinnati whittled an 18-point deficit early in the second half to 48-41 following two free throws from Titus Rubles at the midway point. SMU, though, scored the ensuing 11 points. Ben Moore stole the ball and drove in for layup. Nic Moore then drained a 3-pointer for a 57-41 cushion. Russell came up with a steal and cruised in for a layup to send the crowd into a frenzy and widen the gap to 18 points with just over eight minutes remaining.

The Bearcats were never within single digits the rest of the game, and the Mustangs moved to 14-games over .500 for the first time since SMU was 16-over at 21-5 in the 1999-00 season.

Crandall Head’s layup capped an 11-2 spurt, which widened SMU’s lead to 22-12 with just over six minutes left in the first half.

Keith Frazier’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the half provided the hosts with a 38-24 cushion after 20 minutes of play.

Game Notes

This is the first time SMU has defeated three ranked teams in the same season since 1984-85 (3 wins) … This is also the first on campus win over an opponent in the AP top 10 since Dec. 29, 1967 when the Mustangs defeated No. 3 Indiana, 91-84 … Kilpatrick tied the school record for consecutive games played, matching Keith Gregor (131 games from 1993-95) … SMU came into the game second in the nation holding teams to 36.8 percent shooting from the field and were limiting opponents to 61.3 ppg … The Bearcats shot 35.4 percent, including 4-of-24 from beyond the arc … SMU, which was also in the top-10 in the country by shooting 49.4 percent, made 54.3 percent from the floor.

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Mustangs Stampede Bearcats

Final Score: SMU 76, (7) Cincinnati 55

Dallas, TX  – With a win over a top-10 team for the first time since 1987, three victories against top-25 clubs this season, and an unbeaten record at home, the SMU Mustangs are certainly worthy of being ranked come Monday.

The latest win for the Mustangs may have put them over the top.

Nick Russell and Ben Moore each scored 15 points, as SMU upended No. 7 Cincinnati, 76-55, at Moody Coliseum to snap the Bearcats’ 15-game winning streak.

Nic Moore tallied 14 points for the Mustangs (19-5, 8-3 AAC), who have won three in a row and eight of their last nine contests.

When the game ended, fans rushed the court in jubilation, knowing the Mustangs, who haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1993, could move into the top-25 come Monday. This was SMU’s third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Mustangs beat then No. 17 Connecticut on Jan. 4 and turned back then-22nd-ranked Memphis last Saturday with both of those previous wins at Moody Coliseum.

SMU received a season-high 15 votes in this week’s AP Poll.

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown has his team off to a 13-0 mark at home, including a 7-0 record in the renovated Moody Coliseum.

SMU also got revenge on the Bearcats for a 65-57 loss on New Year’s Day. The Mustangs held Cincinnati to 36.5 percent shooting in that game, but committed 17 turnovers and were outscored 23-8 at the foul line.

“That’s all we talked about doing is matching their energy. I thought we did that,” Brown said.

This game provided a different outcome thanks to the quick hands by SMU on defense. Cincinnati committed 19 turnovers. That helped the Mustangs get their first win over a top-10 squad since topping No. 7 Florida, on Dec. 3, 1987.

Sean Kilpatrick scored 22 for the Bearcats (22-3, 11-1), who lost for the first time since Dec. 14 against Xavier.

Cincinnati whittled an 18-point deficit early in the second half to 48-41 following two free throws from Titus Rubles at the midway point. SMU, though, scored the ensuing 11 points. Ben Moore stole the ball and drove in for layup. Nic Moore then drained a 3-pointer for a 57-41 cushion. Russell came up with a steal and cruised in for a layup to send the crowd into a frenzy and widen the gap to 18 points with just over eight minutes remaining.

The Bearcats were never within single digits the rest of the game, and the Mustangs moved to 14-games over .500 for the first time since SMU was 16-over at 21-5 in the 1999-00 season.

Crandall Head’s layup capped an 11-2 spurt, which widened SMU’s lead to 22-12 with just over six minutes left in the first half.

Keith Frazier’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the half provided the hosts with a 38-24 cushion after 20 minutes of play.

Game Notes

This is the first time SMU has defeated three ranked teams in the same season since 1984-85 (3 wins) … This is also the first on campus win over an opponent in the AP top 10 since Dec. 29, 1967 when the Mustangs defeated No. 3 Indiana, 91-84 … Kilpatrick tied the school record for consecutive games played, matching Keith Gregor (131 games from 1993-95) … SMU came into the game second in the nation holding teams to 36.8 percent shooting from the field and were limiting opponents to 61.3 ppg … The Bearcats shot 35.4 percent, including 4-of-24 from beyond the arc … SMU, which was also in the top-10 in the country by shooting 49.4 percent, made 54.3 percent from the floor.

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Spurs Netted

Final Score: Brooklyn 103, San Antonio 89

Brooklyn, NY  – Alan Anderson scored 22 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 103-89 win over the depleted San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center.

Deron Williams finished with 16 points and eight assists, Paul Pierce tallied 12 points, and Andray Blatche added 10 for Brooklyn, which snapped a six-game losing streak against San Antonio.

The Spurs, who already were without Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard, were missing Tony Parker due to lower back tightness that saw the point guard leave Wednesday’s win against Washington and Tim Duncan, who was held out to rest.

Cory Joseph paced San Antonio with 18 points, while Danny Green netted 17 points and Patty Mills registered 16 points off the bench.

“I’m really proud of my guys. I thought they did a great job. After the [double overtime] game last night, then to come in here tonight, I thought the effort was great,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, referring to Wednesday’s close win over the Wizards.

The Spurs had their three-game winning streak snapped and the loss marked the first setback on their nine-game Rodeo road-trip. They still have six games remaining before returning back home.

Anderson scored the final nine points of the third quarter for Brooklyn in helping the Nets take a 75-68 lead into the fourth.

Anderson then opened the fourth-quarter scoring for Brooklyn after a pair of free throws from Joseph, and Andrei Kirilenko converted a dunk to push the Nets lead to 84-74.

Williams knocked down a 3 to start a quick 7-0 sprint that Anderson capped with a jumper for a 99-83 lead with 2:45 remaining in the game. San Antonio seemed to lose its legs down the stretch as Brooklyn pulled away late.

“We started attacking and stopped settling for the three. Once we start doing that, it opens up the lane for kick-outs, just penetrating and dishing, everything starts opening up,” Anderson said.

Joseph scored the final five points of an 18-6 surge to open the game for the Spurs as Brooklyn opened the game 3-for-10 from the field. The Nets clawed their way back in it, however, trailing 24-17 after 12 minutes and they took a slim 40-39 lead into the break.

Game Notes

Reserve forward Boris Diaw also missed the contest for San Antonio with food poisoning … Brooklyn finished 46-of-93 shooting … The Nets outrebounded the Spurs 53-38 … The Spurs were 24-for-29 from the free-throw line, while Brooklyn shot 7-of-10.

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Orange Flush

Syracuse, NY  – After prevailing in arguably the season’s most thrilling game for back easters over the weekend, the undefeated Syracuse Orange will get back to work on Monday night when they play host to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Atlantic Coast Conference action at the Carrier Dome.

 

Notre Dame has endured a disappointing season, especially since it entered the campaign among the likes of the nationally ranked, as it has gone just 12-10 overall and 3-6 in the ACC. The Irish most recently edged Boston College in overtime on Saturday, 76-73, but their record on the road has been dreadful (0-5).

 

In a game for the ages on Saturday night versus nationally-ranked Duke, Syracuse outlasted the Blue Devils in overtime, 91-89, to improve to 21-0, a school record for the longest winning streak to start a season. After top- ranked Arizona fell over the weekend, the Orange are one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the nation, joining Wichita State. The squad has been nearly flawless at home in recent years, going 49-2 at the Carrier Dome since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

 

Syracuse leads the all-time series with its former Big East rival, 25-19. The Orange have beaten the Irish in four of the last five meetings dating back to 2009.

 

The Irish had an opportunity to win their latest game in regulation when Eric Atkins stepped to the foul line down by one with one second left, but after a 1-of-2 trip forced overtime, Atkins made up for it with the game-winning 3- pointer in the waning seconds of the extra session. The squad shot 46 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 36-27. Atkins poured in a game- high 24 points, Pat Connaughton tallied 17 points and nine rebounds, while Zach Auguste and V.J. Beachem netted 10 points apiece.

 

Notre Dame hasn’t had much of a problem scoring points this season, shooting 46.1 percent from the field for 75.3 ppg, but it has been held back by a less- than-stellar scoring defense (70.9 ppg). The suspension of Jerian Grant (19.0 ppg, 6.2 apg) back in December has certainly limited the squad’s potential. Garrick Sherman (14.5 ppg) and Atkins (14.3 ppg) are neck-and-neck for the scoring lead, with Atkins dishing out 4.8 apg as well. Connaughton (13.5 ppg) does a large majority of his damage from 3-point distance (54-of-140).

 

The Orange held a single-digit lead for most of the second half against Duke on Saturday, but after Tyler Ennis made it a three-point game with five seconds left following a pair of free throws, Duke charged down the floor and Rasheed Sulaimon drilled the tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. Syracuse shot 3-of-4 from the field in the extra session and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line and dodge another game-tying attempt at the buzzer by the Blue Devils as it held on. C.J. Fair (28 points) and Jerami Grant (24 points, 12 rebounds) were both outstanding, while Trevor Cooney scored 14 points, Ennis had 14 points and nine assists and Rakeem Christmas hauled in 10 rebounds.

 

Syracuse has been strong on the offensive end of the floor this season, shooting greater than 46 percent from the field for 72.3 ppg. Its most telling attribute during its undefeated season however, has been its elite scoring defense, which ranks eighth-best in the country in allowing just 59.3 ppg. Unsurprisingly, it also has outstanding margins in the rebounding (+5.9) and turnover (+4.9) battles. Fair brings 17.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg to the table, while Cooney (13.2 ppg) has made 59 3-pointers at a 41-percent clip. Grant (13.0, 7.1 rpg) and Ennis (12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.4 spg) round out an excellent group.

 

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